|AdWeek EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: Working The Front Lines|
|Monday, 05 October 2009|
EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING - SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION TO ADWEEK, BRANDWEEK AND MEDIAWEEK
As marketers look for new ways to engage, Experiential Marketing steps into the mix with unique and fresh ways to reach elusive consumers.
If there were a theme song to describe the marketing challenges of the past year, it might be “She (or He) Works Hard for the Money.” With few exceptions, businesses slashed advertising budgets and pressured marketers to justify every dollar they spent. At the same time, however, a renewed optimism was bubbling up around an increasingly popular method of building customer loyalty: experiential marketing.
Rooted in traditional techniques such as PR events, mobile tours and sampling, experiential marketing has come into its own as a unique engagement tool—one whose relevance is sure to grow as companies look to retain or recapture customers in the slowly recovering economy. Recognizing this, marketers in greater numbers are churning out sophisticated experiential programs. Many are drawn not only to the tangible nature of the experience but also the measurable impact on those who participate.
“It’s the only marketing methodology that research continually shows drives purchases,” says Erik Hauser, vice president/executive creative director at EURO RSCG Impact and founder of the Experiential Marketing Forum. “It has a positive effect in every part of the key consideration metrics set by brands, including brand awareness, brand recall and purchase intent.”
According to experts, experiential marketing has a particular benefit in today’s media-fragmented world, in which it is increasingly difficult to gain attention with traditional advertising. “Companies cannot help but exaggerate what they offer in ads,” says Joe Pine, co-founder along with John Gilmore of Strategic Horizons, Dellwood, Minn. “Experiential marketing provides a place where people can directly sample a company’s offerings, so there can be no disconnect between what a company says about its offerings and what customers encounter.”
Those charged with implementing experiential programs say its significance runs even deeper. “Now more than ever, people crave connection and affiliation,” says Derek Drake, CEO of Seattle-based RALLY Marketing Group (formerly Passage Events). “It’s up to us to inspire people to enjoy life by bringing them together to experience a great brand.”
For some companies, experiential marketing still represents a small percentage of their overall budgets. However, adoption of the strategy is spreading quickly. “We’re seeing tremendous amounts of traditional media dollars being shifted into the space,” says Chris Weil, global chairman and CEO of Momentum Worldwide.
|< Prev||Next >|